Small Business Spotlight: ETS Displays goes from making cabinetry to protective equipment amid pandemic

Small Business Spotlight

GIBSONVILLE, N.C. — Plastic barriers and face shields are now a common sight in grocery stores and at doctor’s offices. One local business in Gibsonville went from making commercial cabinetry to protective equipment to stay afloat when COVID-19 hit.

“Not a lot of people know us for this. I think there’s a lot of people that are not sure where they are going to get these things from,” said Ed Susan, owner of ETS Displays.

The Gibsonville business has served the medical community for 20 years.

“Our main business is medical, dental and optical cabinetry and eyewear displays,” Susan said.

Susan was working on three large orders to ship out of state. then COVID-19 took hold of the country.

“We had several ready to go and they all came to a screeching halt,” Susan said.

He went from making cabinets to personal protective equipment. After speaking with clients, Susan designed several prototypes to keep his business running.

“I probably went through 10 or 11 tries. That’s not uncommon. You’ve got to make it fit and you’ve got to make it as universal as you can,” Susan said.

He created custom PPE for dentists and eye doctors. So far Susan has created desk guards, breath shields and face shields. He is working on a new face shield design that he hopes to begin selling to the medical community next week.

“It tilts up. It actually flips up out of the way,” Susan demonstrated.

His goal is to expand his PPE designs and serve other professions in addition to the medical field.

“We’re resilient and we’re going to try to keep going and if it’s in the PPE world that’s great until the world gets back on its axis and we’re still going to be here making commercial cabinets and optical displays,” Susan said.

Susan tells FOX8 the biggest challenge right now is finding clear plastic. All of his materials are made in the United States and plastic supplies are limited due to high demand. He’s working on creating PEE that uses different types of plastic. You can visit his website ETSDisplays.com for more examples of his work. He can also be reached at (336) 449-1200.

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